The 10 Best Tennis Players from the 80s

The 1980s saw winners and losers emerge in the world of professional tennis. Most have faded from prominence for the most part. However, a small number remain well-known even in the present, which says much about the extent of their skills.

Here are our picks for 10 of the best professional tennis players from the 1980s:

10. Tracy Austin

Tracy Austin went pro at the age of 15 in October 1978. Less than two years later, she was number one in the world. Even now, Austin holds the record for the youngest female tennis player to win the U.S. Open by doing so at the age of 16. Sadly, her luck was poor, as shown by her medical issues and her near-fatal motor vehicle accident.

As a result, Austin only won two Grand Slam singles titles. One was the U.S. Open in 1979, while the other was the same tournament in 1981. Besides that, she also won a Grand Slam mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 1980, which was notable because she was paired with her brother John Austin.

9. Bjorn Borg

Bjorn Borg is one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He won five Wimbledon and six French Open singles titles. On top of this, he won five consecutive times at Wimbledon, thus making him the first to do so since the 1900s. Similarly, he won four consecutive times at the French Open, a new record in those times.

That said, Borg has a lower position on this list because he was most prominent in the 1970s. Just three of the man’s 11 Grand Slam singles titles were in the 1980s, which makes sense because he retired for the first time in 1984. Borg did try to come back in the 1990s. Unfortunately, time had already passed him by that point.

8. Stefan Edberg

Sweden remained a tennis powerhouse after Borg’s departure. That is because Stefan Edberg went pro in 1983 before continuing to play until 1996. He never matched Borg’s record, but he was no slouch.

For proof, look no further than how Edberg won three Grand Slam singles titles and two Grand Slam doubles titles in the 1980s. Thanks to that, he is one of two male tennis players in the Open Era to have been number one in the world for both singles and doubles.

7. Hana Mandlikova

Hana Mandlikova won four Grand Slam singles titles and one Grand Slam doubles title in the 1980s. Despite this, she was never number one in the world. Indeed, she was never even number two because she peaked at number three. That will make more sense once interested individuals see who she competed with throughout the decade.

6. Boris Becker

Tennisnet says Edberg had a famous rivalry with Boris Becker from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s. The latter won most of their matches. However, Edberg held his own, as shown by how he won three of the four times they met in Grand Slam tournaments.

That said, Becker is another individual who can claim to be one of the greatest tennis players of all time, as shown by his four Grand Slam singles titles in the 1980s and six overall. His reputation has sustained a hit in recent times because of bankruptcy-related problems. Even so, his record speaks for itself.

5. John McEnroe

John McEnroe is another well-known name on this list. That is particularly true because of his fiery personality, which resulted in a great deal of on-court drama. Of course, McEnroe had the numbers to back up his skills. He won six Grand Slam singles titles and six Grand Slam doubles titles in the 1980s.

As such, he is the other male tennis player in the Open Era to have been number one in the world for both singles and doubles. McEnroe did one better by being both simultaneously. Something no one else has managed so far.

4. Ivan Lendl

Ivan Lendl won seven of his eight Grand Slam singles titles in the 1980s. Other than this, he holds several other impressive records. For example, he was the first man to compete in the Grand Slam finals on 19 occasions.

Similarly, he had a match-winning rate of more than 90 percent in five years, which remains a record. As such, Lendl is more than deserving of his position on this list.

3. Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf turned pro in the early 1980s and continued until the late 1990s. She seemed to reach the height of her prowess later than some of her counterparts because she didn’t start winning Grand Slam titles until the late 1980s.

However, she wasted no time when the conditions were aligned in her favor. By the decade’s end, Graf had claimed eight of the 22 Grand Slam singles titles she would win throughout her career, which was particularly remarkable because every one of the eight wins took place within three years.

She didn’t just complete a Grand Slam in 1988. That year, Graf became the first individual to complete a so-called Golden Slam when she also won the Olympic gold medal for herself.

2. Chris Evert

Chris Evert claimed her 18 Grand Slam singles titles from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. Out of those, she won nine in the 1980s. Unsurprisingly, Evert also holds several impressive records. For example, she reached the Grand Slam finals on 34 separate occasions.

Similarly, she has a match-winning rate of 89.97 percent, meaning she has one of the highest rates of either male or female tennis players. Simply put, Evert was one of the most dominant forces in professional tennis in the 1970s and 1980s, though she wasn’t unrivaled.

1. Martina Navratilova

After all, Evert had to compete with Martina Navratilova. The latter also won 18 Grand Slam singles titles in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. However, she claimed 15 of them in the 1980s rather than in the other two decades, which is why she is one position higher.

Navratilova was also a terrifying doubles player in a way that Evert never was. Yes, the latter won three Grand Slam doubles titles. Meanwhile, Navratilova won 31 Grand Slam doubles titles, which isn’t even mentioning her 10 Grand Slam mixed doubles titles. As such, she is the only tennis player to have been number one in the world for singles for more than 200 weeks and number one in the world for doubles for more than 200 weeks.

You can also read:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *